When you say those three little words to someone for the first time you hope they will respond in a positive way. I’d said it before to people: my kids, Tom and Rhys. But I’d never been so terrified to say it or so invested in the response.
Just because my heart didn’t beat, doesn’t mean it can’t be broken.
Sorin could’ve done several things. He could’ve laughed, walked away, told me I was crazy, said it back—anything. But I didn’t let him do anything. I kept talking in a desperate attempt to postpone his reaction.
“And, I do trust you. I don’t trust myself. I don’t trust that you’ll fall in love with me or if you do that you’ll stay in love with me. I’m afraid that I’ll do what I always do. I’ve always tried to make people love me by acting the way I think they want me to. Then, when I get tired or frustrated with that and start to be myself—well, they don’t like me. Then, they want me to continue to be that fake me so I shut down and everything inside me dies for them. I always wanted someone that I could be myself with and speak my mind to and show all the broken parts to. But in reality, I just thought I was going to be alone for the rest of my life. I didn’t see you coming and once we’d slept together, I figured you were done with me.”
He opened his mouth but I stopped him and continued my rant.
“But you weren’t. You kept coming after me, to my work, to my home. You sent gifts and impressed my co-workers. You bought me a dress and washed my hair and listened to me talk. But weirdest of all, you didn’t run away. And, Sorin… I’ve always been myself with you. For the first time ever, I showed someone the real, flawed person I am from the very beginning. And, you were still interested. I finally had what I dreamed of and I’m scared shitless. So, I pushed you away and you stayed patient and respected me, even though I could see it was killing you. I mean, it was killing me too. I wanted to be in your bed—want to be in your bed. I want to be with you until the end of time. But I’m so freaked out and convinced that you’ll reject me. Worse than that, I’m scared you’ll love me but only for a little while. And, Sorin ...”
I made sure he was looking into my eyes so he could see that I meant the next few words. “If you stopped loving me, I think I’d die. But I can’t die, so I’d just live forever with a broken heart.”
I’d said it. It was out and I couldn’t take it back. With trembling hands, I pulled my hair in front of my shoulders, then threw it back; trying to keep myself busy so I wouldn’t reach out for the man in front of me. I wanted to give him the chance to choose and not feel pressured. The silence between us was agony but I knew I had to let him think and not push so I remained quiet.
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